CC hasn't yet joined (or really discovered) the American Girl craze, but I have a feeling my days are numbered on that one. Especially now that we've seen the latest American Girl DVD McKenna Shoots for the Stars, which hit shelves July 3 (SRP: $14.99) from Universal Home Entertainment.
We watched a review copy this weekend, and both CC and I thought this was great girl-friendly entertainment. Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210) and gymnast Cathy Rigby star in the movie, but it's really Jade Pettyjohn, as McKenna, who should get the most attention.
The story focuses on McKenna, a talented young gymnast who has her priorities a bit out of whack -- something every young girl faces when she's great at something. Of course, when you're in the fourth grade, it's really school that should take a front seat. Not so, in McKenna's eyes. For her, it's all about scoring a spot on the elite regional gymnastics team.
With her grades slipping, McKenna's teacher suggests she get a tutor, which makes McKenna feel embarrassed and, shall we say, less than scholarly. But when she takes a bad fall during practice and is stuck with crutches, she is given the opportunity to improve her grades -- while gymnastics takes a back seat.
McKenna Shoots for the Stars touches on a lot of issues that young girls -- and boys, for that matter -- have to deal with. Embarrassment, falling behind, having to make tough choices, and what that might do to friendships. The movie handles all of these issues with care, while empowering kids to make those tough choices and to let them know it's OK to ask for help -- something even grown-ups have a hard time doing sometimes.
I was happy to see the positive themes, while CC had fun watching the gymnastics and asking questions about the girls' feelings and friendships.
I would recommend this for any parent to watch with their child. I also appreciated that the movie stood on its own, rather than as an extension of a brand.
*** GIVEAWAY ***
To enter, leave a comment below about your experience with American Girl -- or with how you've had to deal with a tough school issue.
For more chances to win, follow me on Twitter and retweet this giveaway. I'm at @la_story. Or you can "Like" the L.A. Story Facebook page and share the giveaway.
Just be sure to leave extra comments telling me you did so.
Good luck, and I will announce the winner on this post on Monday, July 23!
(Note: If there's no response in 48 hours, I'll pick another winner.)